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The Hiring Problem That’s Killing Companies And Driving People Bananas

What if I told you that 80 percent of a particular workforce thought they had a great understanding of what they were doing and what was expected of them. And yet, when you talk to the group that workforce is serving, 61 percent of them say they really don’t.

That’s the equivalent of 80 percent of cooks thinking they are serving great food, but 61 percent of the customers saying it isn’t very good. Or 80 percent of accountants believing they are the next George Oliver May, yet 61 percent of their clients go to bed each night worrying about an audit.

That would be a big problem, right? And yet, a study has found that is the exact situation going on between recruiters and hiring managers: most recruiters feel they have a clear understanding of what hiring managers want, and yet most hiring managers say recruiters have little understanding of what they want.

What’s the cause of this problem? Fundamentally, it comes down trying to put square pegs in round holes, and vice-versa.

And it isn’t really anyone’s fault.

Explaining The Problem

Recently, iCIMS surveyed hiring managers and recruiters to see how the relationship between the two was working. What they found was it wasn’t.

In the study, 80 percent of recruiters said they had a “high” to “very high” understanding of the jobs they recruited for. And yet, when hiring managers were surveyed, 61 percent of hiring managers said recruiters had, at best, a low to moderate understanding of the jobs they were recruiting for.

What does this all mean, in a practical sense? Hiring managers are looking for certain personality aspects and technical skills that were missing in the candidates given to them by the recruiting team.

In metaphorical terms, hiring managers want apples, but recruiters are giving them oranges. Why? Because recruiters don’t have the skills to distinguish apples from oranges.

And, really, it isn’t their fault.

Understanding The Problem

Imagine you are the head of IT at a company and you want to bring in some developers with a particular set of skills. You ask a recruiter, who has no development experience what-so-ever, to find people who have those skills.

Sure, the recruiter might be able to determine candidates’ personality and some of their basic competencies. But there is no sensible way they can know if a candidate knows C++ or SharePoint or what, because they themselves don’t know those programs.

In other words, recruiters are being put in impossible situations.

Ultimately, what happens is that the recruiter hands over candidates who have words on the resume that match what you told them they wanted. But are they really experts in that area?

Well, that’s sort of up to you to figure out.

Finding A Solution

If you ask recruiters how to fix the problem, they’ll say that hiring managers need to communicate with them more. In fact, the iCIMS study found that 51 percent of recruiters said their hiring managers need to do a better job of communicating to them what they want in a position.

But I ask you, imagine a hiring manager spent all day to talking a recruiter, telling them what they wanted. If the recruiter has no expertise in that area, it is still going to matter?

Aside from taking Computer Science 101, as an example, a recruiter with no technical training is always going to have a difficult time differentiating between the technical expertise of various candidates.

Heck, I would.

So what’s the solution?

by Paul Petrone

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